West Midlands Police, together with partner emergency services, took part in a live-play training exercise at Merry Hill shopping centre on Sunday (26/02) to test the force’s response to a major incident.

The exercise was designed to enhance the skills of emergency responders when managing a major incident and was not in relation to any specific threat.

This was just one of many exercises held regularly across the country and provides invaluable training and experience for all staff. Preparation and testing is integral in helping to ensure the West Midlands and the UK is resilient.

Details of the exercise were not shared in advance to allow the emergency services to respond spontaneously as they would in a real incident. The area was tightly controlled and there was no impact on the public.

Officers and security staff were on patrol during the night to reassure any local residents who may have been affected by increased activity, noise and presence of the emergency services. However, it was business as usual for the force and officers.

The exercise highlights the strong working relationships between West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Ambulance Service and partners.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: “Routine exercises like this are important as they enable us to test our ability to deal with large scale incidents. I would like to thank intu Merry Hill and the local community for their support.

“The exercise was not based on any threat or intelligence and although it is unlikely that an incident like this would occur, recent national and international events have once again highlighted the importance of public organisations testing their emergency response procedures to assure the safety of the communities we serve.”